Kat Stevens Is Organizing Portland’s Anti-Trump Protests. Here’s What She’s Bringing.

Bring extra bottles of water to wash the pepper-spray out of your eyes.

Kat Stevens is among the most recognizable faces of revolt against Donald Trump.

Stevens, 24, is an organizer for Portland's Resistance, a group that formed after Trump's election and led six consecutive nights of protest marches in November. She and her boyfriend, Gregory McKelvey, have become iconic as the bullhorn-wielding leaders of local protesters—especially after viral video of Portland police violently arresting Stevens during a Nov. 21 march.

Stevens will be at the front of Portland's most prominent Inauguration Day march: an anti-Trump protest that starts at 3:30 pm Friday, Jan. 20, at Pioneer Courthouse Square. She's coming prepared. Last weekend, she invited WW to her home to show what she's bringing to the protest.

A canvas backpack.
"I always have a backpack with me. It was actually given to me at Christmas by Greg [McKelvey] because my old backpack ripped at the last protest, so he got me a new protest backpack. I'm kind of a mom, so I like to load it up with every possible thing we might need and be as prepared as possible for myself, my friends and family, but also complete strangers that are marching with us."

Half a dozen 1-liter water bottles with sports tops.
"I usually keep one for myself and Greg and the other organizers. We share amongst ourselves. The other five, I usually just end up handing out at the protest to make sure people are drinking water. We get the sports-topped ones—so that not only can they be used for drinking water, but if there's pepper spray, you can use them to squirt water into people's eyes and wash the spray out, so they can see again."

One or two inhalers.
"I have asthma. I always try to bring an inhaler or two with me. I'll have an extra one. You're not supposed to share a prescription, but a lot of people don't know they have asthma and will get hit by pepper spray and will have an asthma attack. And just in general, pepper spray makes it really hard to breathe. People who have normal, healthy lungs can choke up and get sick, so having an inhaler on the spot is super-helpful."

Fabric to wrap around your face.
She says it's good for smoke or pepper spray.

"We have a bandanna system for whenever we're organizing a protest. We have yellow bandannas for the security and de-escalation team, red bandannas for medics. I usually have a white bandanna to mark me as an organizer, so you can come to me with questions, but also cover my face"—in case of smoke or pepper spray.

A change of clothes—an extra sweater or hoodie.
"If it gets colder, if it gets rainy, if somebody else needs to cover their face from pepper spray or what have you. It's better than nothing."

Portable phone charger.
"We use phones between the organizers to communicate next directions or extra steps we need to take for organizing the crowd. Any moment that we're not chanting or communicating in person, we're on our phones, checking in with the others, so our phones die fast."

Car keys.
"A way to get home."

"It's direct. The only person you're going to turn on the walkie-talkie and talk to are other organizers. You're not going to get distracted from other people texting your phone, 'Hey, I want to come to the protest, where you at?' And [the walkie-talkie] is instant. The minute you open it and dial it and call out, they're going to hear you and respond. It's a more of direct communication path."

Snacks—fruit or a power bar.
"Something fast and easy. Something that's easy to eat when we're stopping for just a minute, but energy, kind of like you're hiking. It really is. It's like urban hiking."

Willamette Week’s reporting has concrete impacts that change laws, force action from civic leaders, and drive compromised politicians from public office. Support WW’s journalism through our Give!Guide Fundraising page.